An unmarried teenage girl of uncertain parentage gives birth in poverty and his own compatriots did not receive him. It has been an interesting Christmas in our house.
Foster Teen’s baby, Lian Piñero Zambrano made his appearance nearly a whole month ahead of schedule, on the morning of the 23rd of December. Mum and baby were discharged on the 24th. I questioned this at the time as it seemed to me that he wasn’t feeding properly, but the public hospital were keen to send everyone home for Christmas so home we went. Sure enough on Saturday 26th he was readmitted to hospital suffering from dehydration and having lost a significant amount of weight. Since then he has been in the neonatal unit where they have been getting his weight back up, and working with baby and new mum to improve his feeding.
Fortunately Christmas in Argentina is a simple affair. Half an hour’s buzz round the shops on the morning of the 24th gathered me enough loot for presents for all children. For the main celebration we get together with friends and throw some meat on a fire. Martin bought meat and drinks while I rooted around the house and located enough ingredients for a couple of salads, and the kids and I made a cake to share for dessert.
Since then the week has been filled with zipping backwards and forwards by bike to the hospital several times a day and trying to coincide with times that they need someone to look like a “responsible adult” to meet with social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, paediatrician… Sometimes this is tricky when meetings don’t occur at scheduled times. Technically Teen is still the responsibility of the Province of Cordoba, who appear to have mostly washed their hands of her since losing her paperwork, but without giving us any legal basis for doing anything on her behalf, and particularly not enabling us to claim any of the benefits that she should be entitled to, neither for herself, nor baby Lian who by accident of birth also finds himself without legal status. So it lands to a couple of not-particularly-wise people from a far off land in the east to provide not myrrh and frankincense, but food and shelter for those who find themselves excluded in their own land.
“He came to his own, but his own did not receive him.”
At the moment they are talking about sending him home on Monday, so we celebrated New Year with another hospital visit, and then went home and put together another cake with the chocolate numbers that I had made using some funky new number moulds. Simple pleasures. Happy New Year.